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Opinion: A game-changing Aliyev-Pashinyan-Michel summit in Brussels

Opinion: A game-changing Aliyev-Pashinyan-Michel summit in Brussels

This week's summit of Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, mediated by European Council president Charles Michel, marks a growing mediating role for the EU, something which is welcomed by both Baku and Yerevan, writes Vasif Husseynov in this op-ed. There are now two separate tracks in the peace process, one led by Brussels, the other by Moscow. So far they are complimentary, and should remain so, he argues
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Yemeni president transfers his powers to a new presidential leadership council

Yemeni president transfers his powers to a new presidential leadership council

In a televised address, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi relinquished his powers today (7 April) after being elected in 2012 and announced the formation of a new Presidential Leadership Council. Hadi, who had led Yemen through one of its most turbulent times, said the Council was established to complete the implementation of the transition phase and will have the authority to negotiate with the Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the war.
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Armenian and Azerbaijani expert group proposes 30 confidence-building measures to support regional peace

Armenian and Azerbaijani expert group proposes 30 confidence-building measures to support regional peace

The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus has published its report in which it proposes 30 short, medium and long term measures in support of ongoing efforts to establish peace in the region. In their report, "The South Caucasus from war to peace: 30 measures between now and 2030"  the members of the Liaison Group say that Armenia and Azerbaijan and Armenians and Azerbaijanis, need to build the future based on mutual trust and confidence.
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The process for negotiating a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan has started

The process for negotiating a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan has started

After four hours of intensive discussions in Brussels on Wednesday evening  (6 April), European Council president Charles Michel announced that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to instruct their foreign ministers to start work on the preparation of a peace treaty, which would address all necessary issues. "The process has started. It started tonight", president Michel told journalists. Michel earlier met separately with Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev before the three convened for their meeting. Michel described the meeting as "excellent and very productive".
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Brussels hosts important discussions between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

Brussels hosts important discussions between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, will today meet in Brussels together with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. The trilateral meeting is taking place at a critical moment for the future of the South Caucasus as Armenia and Azerbaijan seek ways to build peace between them following the 44 Day Karabakh war in the autumn of 2020. It is taking place in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has caused the bbiggest crisis on the European continent since World War II. Michel hosted a previous meeting with Aliyev and Pashinyan on 14 December 2021, and a new format appears to be emerging for contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Observers are hesitant to call it a peace process yet, but the importance of the talks is considerable. This was highlighted yesterday when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on the phone with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to stress the US support for the talks. In Brussels Michel is expected to urge Pashinyan and Aliyev, with who he has built a strong personal rapport over the last year, to work together to de-escalate tensions on the border, move forward with the process of agreeing the terms of a peace agreement, and implement confidence and security building measures to support their work and help build trust at the political, military and societal levels.